Madison Drew | 15/04/2023
You know what they say about boy bands that live together. They record demos in their living room together.
They also do a lot of songwriting in the house. “We kind of say a man wouldn’t mind it to look a bit more scenic in there. We need some art on the walls and stuff like that, just to make it feel like we’re not going to lose our minds”.
The band members have lived together for a long time now as I ask about spending so much time together. ‘We know how to give each other space when needed because we work together. We socialise together. We’re always doing things together.”
New Rules have gone headfirst into the boy band phenomenon. Their sold-out headline London show at Lafayette saw members Alec McGarry, Nathan Lambert, and Ryan Meaney take to the stage to sing songs that, for some, was the first time live since the pandemic scuppered plans for the band. There was a silver lining, as quarantine did help create viral hit songs with the help of their online presence. The band currently stands at 1.2 million followers on TikTok and their song about a simple bowl of pasta has 19 million streams on Spotify.
“I know it sounds kind of cheesy, but it's like a little family,” explaining the vibes of their fanbase. “And I think everyone’s on the same page. When you walk into a New Rules gig, it’s like everyone’s part of the same thing. Which is nice.” Reflecting on one of their most significant gigs since their formation they tell me about one of their favourite shows and quintessentially what a New Rules show should feel like. What shines through is their appreciation of the support they’ve gained since their debut in 2019.
Nathan didn’t realise starting a band would be on the cards when meeting fellow members Alec McGarry and Ryan Meaney. “My goal was looking for people to write songs with. But I met these guys on Instagram and YouTube for Ryan” Nathan recalls their first meet-up, where they wrote their first two singles that same day. “We just wrote a tonne of songs. We just wrote a few that we kind of fell in love with”. Afterward, he realised that a band would be the way forward. “We’ve got different voices, but when you put them together, it really works. I think that was a bit of a lightbulb moment.”
The pressures of being a boyband in the industry are demanding. Finding their voice in the boyband hall of fame can be tricky, but the English Irish pop band has begun to find their sound once seen in previous groups that gained rapid popularity including the likes of One Direction and The Vamps.
“I think we’re still working it out. It’s always changing." After several writing sessions, they have hundreds of songs. “That’s not to say they’re usable because a lot of them are just us figuring out what we want to sound like and what we want to say.” Like anyone growing up and starting out young, things change over time. Though the boys believe they have now found what they were looking for. “It definitely feels like we’ve found our voice. Especially more recently.”
Something they aren't afraid of is experimenting with their music, where they all have a hand in writing songs, playing the instruments, and singing.
“We’ve never been afraid to try anything once, and that’s one thing that I love about the three of us is that we will try everything just to see if it works. And if it doesn’t, then we haven’t lost anything.
I do think people can tell when you’re not being authentic.” New Rules thrive on creating songs that they love and cater to the fans. “We just want to make sure that we’re doing what’s really true to us, and then, people will probably love that or hate it. That’s what it’s about.”
Their most recent US tour found the boys sightseeing around the country, which they try to do in their free time. They found some fun places they'd like to go back to including Atlanta as they tell us of their surprise at the Whitehouse “It's very small. More like a white shed in comparison to how big we thought it would be, it’s just got a big garden. That’s about it. Yeah, it’s not what you expect. We love the fans over there. The fans are so great and loud, consistently.”
They make the most of the fun tour antics on their days off to maintain their health for performances.” It's just the three of us. We don’t have a band with us at the minute. We can’t really hide behind any loud noises. We have to be really good. It does mean if one of us loses our voices, the show is fucked.”
During these moments, the trio have each other to rely on in these unfamiliar situations. Something at the heart of New Rules is supporting each other through it all.
“If somebody’s having a bad day, we just give each other space, and you don’t push whoever it is, you pick up a bit of slack for someone else. And then when they are ready, they’ll come back. It’s definitely easier just having two more people.”
“And when you go on tour as well, I think your crew and everything becomes your family, which is the best thing in the world. But at the same time, I don’t think any one outside us understands the three of us. So, it’s quite nice”.
It may seem highly daunting being an upcoming pop band in an online bubble during the pandemic to being unleashed into the world of touring with songs that started in their living room. The boys talk about what it’s like to juggle tours and everyday life afterward.
“You know that feeling where it’s just like, everything’s funny and you, like, can’t breathe? Yeah, yeah, that’s what being on tour is like.”
“I think a few days or weeks feels like that because you get in this mindset where you’re so tired and then crash at the end. You’re all going through it together."
“At the minute, being on tour is exciting and fun. It’s more when we’re just back in the house when you get in your head the most about things.”
“When you’re on the road, moving around, it feels like something’s constantly happening."
The boys couldn’t see doing music and all the thrills that come with it without each other “My hat comes off to the people who do it solo. It’s more special going through and experiencing it together, having that to share. I wouldn’t want to do it if it was just me. I wouldn’t enjoy it as much, and having two other people who are in the same thing means you can bounce off each other. It makes it special."
And more shows are on the New Rules list. “This next batch of music we’re really excited about, as it will take us to places we haven’t been.” Somewhere they'd love to visit is Europe. “We’ve never toured Europe, which I think is a bit strange because we’ve toured many places.”
“We’ve been to states, the Philippines, and Mexico, and they were special trips. We want to go back and build on those.”
New music is coming, with the band working on an EP. They are also planning for bigger projects in the future. “We’re just going to keep trying to get songs out as fast as possible. It’s exciting that we’re writing so much right now.”
“The only problem is it can give us a headache regarding what we sort of release next.”
With new releases on the horizon, further tours, and the boys continuing to be their authentic charming selves, there's no doubt you'll fall in love with them. So keep an ear out for what's next and an eye out on their socials for everything New Rules 2023.